Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Cheryl Aylward Whitesel

Born: in Rochester, New York
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Whitesel went to college at Northwestern University and currently resides in Western Springs.

Biography: Born in Rochester, New York, Cheryl Aylward Whitesel has also lived in Illinois, Louisiana, and Michigan and spent twelve years in Asia. After her son was born, she left her law career and pursued her dream to write books for children.

  • Blue Fingers - Prize, Voice of Youth Advocates Top-Shelf Fiction for Middle-School Readers Selection, and New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award and Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Book Award nominations
  • Rebel - New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies Selection

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; History

Primary Audience(s): Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Blue fingers :
ISBN: 0618381392 OCLC: New York :

Clarion Books, New York : ©2004.

Having failed apprenticeship as a dye maker, Koji is captured and forced to train as a ninja, where he remains disloyal until he discovers samurai have burned his former village.

Rebel :
ISBN: 0688167357 OCLC: New York :

HarperCollins, New York : 2000.

Although he rebels against life in the Tibetan Buddhist monastery where he had been sent, fourteen-year-old Thunder comes to some amazing realizations about himself.